Backblast Area Clear
“I shot one of those,” I say to Dennis, pointing at the screen. It’s a light anti-tank weapon, a LAW, long fiberglass tube, next to weightless. I was 17 when I picked it up, drill sergeant beside me on the firing line, an instructor guiding this gigantic straw onto my shoulder. Even the small-size uniform looked ridiculous on me. So I have the LAW on my shoulder and it feels good. Not like the M-60, which was like dancing with a barrel of oil. The LAW was nice. A little plastic scope pops up, with red lines and a circle. Downrange, there’s a huge hunk of metal that looks like a tank. I take off the front cover, a black plastic cap. Take off the back cover, another plastic cap. Both swing free. This thing is like a Pixie Stick it’s so light. If I’m ever in a war, I am definitely carrying one of these, I think. It’s pale green, somewhere between moss and sand. The instructor loads the thing and now, it’s a loaded LAW, still not heavy, but lethal. “Pretend it’s someone you hate,” drill sergeant says. I’m 17. Firing line clear. Backblast area clear. Cheek, chin, against the tube. Line up the scopes. The trigger is under a squishy rubber cap, not a rifle trigger at all. There’s no one in the tank. Though I’m sure there was noise, I don’t remember it. Just the joy of being on target, some metal crumbling downrange. Then it was another girl’s turn. “Did you hit any helicopters?” Dennis asks. “Don’t be silly,” I say. “They don’t let you shoot helicopters.” But of course, they do.